'She Can Open Her Eyes, I Can Tell Her I Love Her,' Says Boyfriend of Shooting Victim

Denise Massey of Kentucky is in critical condition after she she was shot in the Vista.

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Early Saturday morning, four women and four men were injured during a shooting at the Vista in Columbia.

One of those hurt was Denise Massey. She was shot in the face and is now in critical condition at the hospital. She's from Kentucky, and came to Columbia for the USC-Kentucky with her boyfriend, Jimmy Brannon. 

"We came down yesterday really truly on a spare of the moment kind-a-thing," said Brannon. Their entire night was chronicled online, from the people they met to the places they went to go eat. 

Related Coverage: 4 Arrested in Connection with Vista Shooting

"I had just taken a picture of Denise sitting on a bench," he said. Minutes later, everything changed.

"I heard pop, pop, pop and I thought it was kids throwing bottles" he said, "but then everyone kept saying everyone get down!"

The three day vacation they had planned, gone in just a few minutes. 

"My girlfriend Denise was maybe three feet from me and she just fell to the ground," said Brannon. "There was blood everywhere I really didn't think she was going to make it, I didn't know what I was going to do."

She was shot in the cheek, the bullet went through her head and just missed her spinal cord, Brannon explained. 

"She can open her eyes and I can tell her I love her," he said.

Denise's parents are flying in to Columbia to be with their daughter. Brannon said USC's President had arranged hotel reservations for the family. 

Brannon wasn't going to share their story but with the incredible outpour of support he's received, he wanted to take the time and say thank you.

"Good people outnumber the bad people and so that's something moving forward we can get out of it," he said, "I just hope I can get Denise back and get her back home with me."

Denise is in the Intensive Care Unit and Brannon says they've been told they'll stay there at least for the next couple of days. 

"Someone said there's no atheist in fox holes and we were kind of in a fox hole last night" he said, "I've been praying a bit more than I would otherwise."

Jimmy Brannon is asking everyone to keep Denise Massey in their prayers. 

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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